SSD Secure Erasing Methods and OEM Instructions for Data Destruction

When purchasing and utilizing solid state drives (SSD) end-of-life management should be seriously considered. Data sanitization prior to disposition or re-deployment for a SSD differs from a traditional hard disk drive (HDD). SSDs store, write, and re-write data differently than spinning hard disk drives, and require a more stringent approach to achieve secure data erasure.

In a PC Magazine article SSD vs. HDD: What’s the Difference? more in depth details are given for the differences between spinning HDD and the interconnected flash memory chip data storage technology of the SDD.

A software solution that is typically used to over-write data on HDDs, even with multiple passes, may not be a proper data destruction solution for SSD. Some common software erasure tools may not consistently access all storage areas on the SSD, and as a result blocks of data can be left behind after binary wiping solutions are utilized.

The various manufacturers of SSDs offer their own solutions for SSD erasure. These built in processes are important to understand before purchasing SSD as they will need to be performed on each drive at time of disposition or reuse. All secure SSD erasure procedures should be followed up with manual confirmation of success and regular random quality assurance from upper management, as well as physical destruction procedure where failure to wipe or security policy otherwise dictates.

Deguassing solid state drives is not a secure option as SSDs do not use magnetic storage.

It is advisable to have a good understanding on the process of each secure erase instructions from the various OEM utilities:



Samsung SSD Magician Manual (Secure Erase):




Feel free to post other instructions for major SSD manufacturers and ITAMG will continue to update this list.

Download ITAMG's Free Guide: 5 Best Practices for Data Destruction